The God of Small Things*

Gratiagusti Chananya Rompas

a Surreal Afternoon. when Sunlight falls like a see-through

shawl—Lipstick and Fuchsia Nail Paints,

my Mother’s. Strawberry Ice Cream. her Tutu. and your Kisses, of course. hot

on my lips, cheeks. Wet, Sweet like Lollipops.

i miss you. it feels like someone is pumping a Birthday Balloon slowly

right next to my heart. i’m trying to paint you a picture, but i can’t: it’s like

Hope is walking down the street, with a limp—i’m torn between Happy

the Balloon is nearly, fully pumped, and Worried what if it explodes before it’s

perfectly, beautifully, a Balloon.

Something is Wrong. as if the world and its

overactive volcanoes can hear your thoughts: in a conspiracy

to work out what’s going to happen to you

next. that makes you helpless, like a Feather

Floating in the wind.

but What Really Gets Under My Skin is knowing that no one,

not even you, can hear the Electrical Storm in my Mind and the endless

chant of the I-Love-You mantra in my Head.

i wonder, do you ever feel like this. i wonder

even, if there’s the tiniest bit of Possibility that you have ever felt

The Same Thing for me. oh i know, i know, all this is just a Cheap


i give up. i put away the things i Want. i put You away.

i’m locking you out of the Cells

of my Brain.

i turn on the TV.

Breaking News.

outside, the universe is dark. it is Real.

*was first published in Kompas Minggu (let me get back to you on the link), will be in her first collection of poetry, ‘Kota Ini Kembang Api’, out in spring/autumn 2008—it depends on which hemisphere you live in—from irisPUSTAKA

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